In a heated debate, Sunak and Starmer discussed the UK economy

In a heated debate, Sunak and Starmer discussed the UK economy

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labor rival Keir Starmer sparred Tuesday over how to boost Britain's economy, with the prime minister accusing the opposition party of wanting to raise taxes if it wins power in the Fourth of July election.

Both Sunak, a Conservative, and Starmer stuck to their campaign lines in their first debate, just weeks before a general election that opinion polls suggest Labor is expected to win, with Sunak saying he only has a plan to stimulate anemic economic growth in the UK. Starmer portrays the Conservatives as presiding over 14 years of economic chaos.

In a heated debate – a recent feature in the UK that is turning more and more voters towards politics – the two leaders discussed how to deal with the cost of living crisis, growing waiting lists, public health and how to reduce immigration. .

Most of the questions made clear what many voters are facing: a cost-of-living crisis in which some struggle to pay their family bills, long waits for health care, and falling standards in the education system.

Their responses did not reveal anything significant, but an opinion poll conducted immediately after the debate indicated that Sunak had won the competition.

“Keir Starmer is asking for a blank check when he has not yet said what he will buy it with or how much it will cost him,” Sunak said in his closing comments. “In turbulent times, we simply cannot afford to have an ambiguous prime minister.”

Starmer responded by saying he would never make “the tricks or promises that Rishi Sunak does”.

“Imagine how you will feel when you wake up on July 5 and see another five years of Tory rule, another five years of decline and division,” he said.

“Now, imagine turning the page with a Labor government that rolls up its sleeves and gets on with its work… The choice in this election is clear: more chaos with the Conservatives or the chance to rebuild the UK with a changed Labor Party.” “.

Sunak repeated the Conservatives' line of attack that Labor has no plan for the country other than to raise “everyone's taxes by £2,000”.

Sunak said: “Mark my words, Labor will raise taxes on you. (It's) in their DNA. Your job, your car, your pension, you name it, Labor will tax it.”

Starmer did not immediately deny the accusation, but later described the 2,000 figure as “ridiculous.” Labor has repeatedly said it will not raise income tax or social security contributions if it wins power.

“My father worked in a factory, he was a tool maker, and my mother was a nurse. We didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up,” the labor leader told one attendee who said he was struggling to make ends meet. Bills.

He added, “So I know how painful it is to worry when the postman comes with a bill. What is this bill, will I be able to pay it? I don't think the prime minister fully understands that.”

Starmer attacked the Conservative Party for presiding over 14 years of chaos and Sunak's plans to introduce compulsory national service.

The Prime Minister heard murmurs when he blamed the strikes on growing waiting lists for health services, and was met with laughter when he said numbers were falling “because they were higher” before.

But he appeared to regain some popularity with the public when he discussed how he plans to tackle immigration, portraying his plan to send illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda as a deterrent that Labor lacks, and saying he would put the country's security above any court. foreign.

Starmer said he also had a plan to deal with immigration, which has become a major concern among voters, and that he would consider processing asylum claims in a third country if doing so did not violate international law.

Sunak, whose election campaign has yet to reduce Labour's lead of about 20 percentage points in the opinion polls, launched the attack, repeating the statement that only his party has a plan, while voters do not know what Starmer intends to do if he comes to power.

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